In searching for your “perfect” or current house, you may have had a list of requirements. Perhaps you needed a big yard for your kids to run around in. Maybe you wanted a tall two-story. And, perhaps you pleaded and searched for a house with stucco walls.
And once you found it, it was perfect – with stucco and all.
It was your dream at the beginning. But then came years of harsh weather, yard work projects and dust-filled winds. Now, your stucco may be looking less bright and beautiful than when you first moved in.
Since stucco is a textured surface, dirt and grime build up more easily in those grooves. This beautiful yet troublesome feature may make it seem difficult to keep your walls clean.
Taking a simple hose to the wall hasn’t worked. You don’t have time to take a washcloth and actually wipe the wall – something only Cinderella would have been asked to do.
So how are you to return your stucco walls to their former glory?
Your answer may be grabbing a power washer and let the power of water and force do the trick.
But before you start spraying away, there are some important things to keep in mind when washing your walls. Here, we’ll share how to power wash your stucco in just five easy steps.
1) Repair cracks
When you’ve purchased or rented a power washer, it may be tempting to just start spraying away. But hold on. In order to make your stucco cleaning effective, you first need to do some repair work.
According to an article from Pressure Washers Direct, author Brian Teitelbaum advises to repair any cracks. That’s because if there are any cracks in the stucco, water can seep through them and cause structural damage later on.
Once you’ve repaired any cracks or chips, allow enough time for the repairs to dry. If you don’t wait long enough, you’ll undo all your hard repair work and have to start over.
An article from P.M. Whitney Power Washing (a Princeton power washing company) recommends waiting at least a week before pressure washing stucco.
2) Apply detergent
After your repairs have set, it’s time to start washing. First, you’ll want to use a special detergent that’s designed for power washers, according to an article from Lowe’s. Using a detergent will help clean more efficiently.
When you begin washing, you also want to move wall by wall or section by section, says P.M. Whitney Power Washing. They also advise spraying the detergent on moving from the bottom of the section to the top.
While you’re applying detergent, be sure to also water the stucco while the detergent is working. Because of the stucco textured surface, some water and detergent will seep into the wall.
Since stucco can be a sensitive surface, hold the spray gun so that the water and detergent hit the wall at a 45-degree angle, says Lowe’s. You also should keep the nozzle at least two feet from the surface of the wall. This will help you not to damage your beautiful stucco.
After you apply the detergent, make sure you wait 5-10 minutes for the detergent to work its cleaning magic before rinsing. Just don’t let the detergent dry out since it needs water to work effectively.
3) Scrub stains
Sometimes, there may be stains on your precious stucco that you just can’t get off with water and detergent alone. In these cases, you’ll need to use a special power washer brush.
According to Teitelbaum, a rotating power brush can get rid of those stains fast and easy.
For rust stains, however, a rotating power brush may not be sufficient. In these cases, Teitelbaum suggests using a rust-remover detergent and scrubbing by hand.
4) Rinse away the detergent
When you’ve used detergent on the walls and scrubbed stains, your last step is to rinse.
Use a low-pressure spray pattern as you rinse away the detergent, says Teitelbaum. Because the stucco surface is delicate, be sure to continue to hold the washer at least two feet away and at a 45-degree angle.
Like when you applied the detergent with the power washer, rinse the stucco in a similar pattern – with one section at a time. Yet this time, start from the top of the section and work down. The running water will help keep the wall from drying out, notes Teitelbaum.
5) Admire your work
Whether you’ve completed this task in just a day or over the course of a few days, take a minute to admire your now-clean stucco walls. Congratulations on returning your textured wall to its former glory.
With tools such as a power washer, you don’t need to have a dirt-filled stucco wall. By following these easy steps, you can that beautiful wall once again.
Check out this video from Briggs & Stratton to see a pressure washer in action to clean a stucco wall.